Children’s Reading and Political Culture

Julia Mickenberg (University of Texas at Austin) was interviewed recently on television about how children’s views are shaped by reading children’s books. Julia is the author of Learning from the Left: Children’s Literature, The Cold War, and Radical Politics in the United States (2006), and co-editor of Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children’s Literature (2008).

Children’s literature has been studied from a number of perspectives, but Julia’s research demonstrates the complex relationships between children’s books and political culture in the United States. Communism, Socialism, McCarthyism, and Conservatism all entered the pages of children’s books, sometimes overtly—but often subtly—shaping children’s attitudes.

Julia is a friend who was based at the Institute for Research in the Humanities in Madison with me in 2009-2010. Congrats to Julia on this fine television interview!

The interview is available on the website of Austin’s Fox affiliate, Fox 7.

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